What temp "destroys" batteries?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cal_gundert05, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    It's 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14.4 Celsius) outside, but my camera wouldn't work.

    It works inside my apartment, so I know it's the temperature affecting the batteries. But 58 degrees? That's not THAT cold! WHAT TEMP CAUSES YOUR BATTERIES TO STOP FUNCTIONING?
     
  2. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    I just remembered to check the manual for operating temps, and it says 32 F is the lowest operating temp.

    I also checked a few more things:

    In my apartment, with 2 different sets of batteries, I turn the camera on and it says "Full Power", I take 1 shot and it goes to "Low Power". After about 5 shots the camera won't take any more (even though I have room for 70 more pics on the card).

    Hmmm, frustrating much?
     
  3. iPanzica

    iPanzica TPF Noob!

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    Hmm that is weird, are the batterys old are pretty new? (sometimes if they sit around a LONG time they could malfuncion) or it could just be a bad batch of batterys. It could also be your camera. That is weird though, sorry I can't be much more help.
     
  4. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking about this a while ago - why low temperatures drains batteries quick. It didn't make sense because I remembered in highschool physics that low temperatures = low electrical resistance = more efficient battery, but then after a while it made good sense because it's probably overefficient. The low temp thing is probably just a guide in this sense. Maybe just keep it above freezing point. Don't want lubricants to freeze(?)

    Hopefully someone who understands physics can give a better answer haha.
     
  5. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    Form what I understand, lower temperatures do not actually reduce the storage capacity of your batteries, but they do reduce the power output... so after a certain amount of time at low temperatures, your batteries may not have enough power to work your camera, but bring them back up to room temperature, and they will work again.

    I couldn't even begin to explain why this happens though :D
     
  6. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Rechargeables are flakey. Sometimes I have a set that functions excellently for 6 months, a year, and then suddenly, without any apparent reason, it fails. Maddening. But not really worth getting excited about, imo. So I just chuck 'em and replace the set with a new one.
    Of course this is about the standard AAA rechargeables I and everybody else uses in flashguns. If you're talking about proprietary batteries in your cam, cal, then it's more serious. Read: probably more expensive. Because it sounds like a malfunctioning battery to me.
     
  7. JEazy

    JEazy TPF Noob!

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    Make sure you're using photo lithium batteries and not regular alkaline.
     
  8. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    I prefer NiMH.
     
  9. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    It also might help to know what batteries and cam you're using. They shouldn't drain that quickly but if you bought cheaper batteries they could.
     
  10. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies everyone, here's an update:

    It seems my old lithium batteries were just about dead, because even now they don't last more than a few shots.

    I used a set of alkaline batteries this morning, which weren't working then. But they seem to be working fine now.

    I guess I'll just need to take care when shooting in the cold. Too bad, though.

    *It's an Olympus C-3030 3.3 MP
     
  11. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

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    Just to firm the physics up here, resistance isn't why you don't operate batteries in a cold environment.

    Cold slows down chemical reactions; batteries are electrochemical devices. Cool the battery off, and it can't supply the proper amount of electricity because the reactions providing the power have slowed down (or stopped entirely).

    Note that batteries are "dead" when a relatively tiny change in voltage occurs - a drained car battery, for instance, could be 10 volts. Car batteries are 12 volt nominal. When the voltage supplied by the battery drops below the minimum required voltage for the device, the device won't turn on (or it will act real erratic).

    Batteries should be working fine at 58 degrees, and indeed, should work fine in most devices at 32 deg. While I'm not saying temperature is not causing the problem, I am saying that a traditional temperature issue is not at fault. I'd lean toward a defective battery.
     
  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Basically the batteries are low. When shooting inside they have enough to take pictures. You get them cold and they don't have enough to work. But warm them up again and they work.

    Time to get new ones! And always carry a FRESH set of spares.
     

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